White House Calls for Strong Open Internet Rules and Title II Reclassification

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In a statement from the White House, President Obama has entered the Open Internet (or net neutrality) debate by calling for the FCC to reclassify consumer broadband service under Title II of the Telecommunications Act while at the same time forbearing from rate regulation of such services.  The President also asks the FCC to adopt certain bright-line rules covering wireline and mobile wireless broadband, including rules to (i) prohibit blocking, (ii) prohibit throttling, (iii) increase transparency, and (iv) prohibit paid prioritization, as well as clear exceptions for reasonable network management and specialized “mission-critical” services such as networks serving hospitals.  Following a comment proceeding that ended this past September and drew well over 3 million comments largely supporting open Internet protections, the FCC is scurrying to release rules for a Commission vote in its December 2014 open meeting though rumors persist that the FCC may delay the release of these rules into 2015.

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